Weight Loss

Definition If this term is used to imply a serious cause it should be restricted to patients with a significant unintentional loss of weight over a short period of time. 

Cause It is normal for a person's weight to vary by a few kilograms from time to time and slow loss of weight is common in people over the age of seventy without a serious cause. It is often listed as an important symptom of bowel cancer but it is only important when it is associated with:


Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating, which is always provoked by eating

Early feelings of fullness and a reduction in the amount of food intake


Treatment The good news - if you have lost weight but you are still enjoying eating and have no tummy discomforts or any other symptoms it is very unlikely to be serious particularly if it has happened slowly over several months. However if you are still uncertain -  see your GP.  If you also have any abdominal pain or discomfort try the 'Symptom Checker'.

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